B&W Fibre Printing Paper recommendations?

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lostlandsuk
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B&W Fibre Printing Paper recommendations?

Post by lostlandsuk » Mon Jun 01, 2009 12:50 pm Etc/GMT-1+01:00

Hi folks - since I restarted photographing a few years back, I've used a few B&W papers, but am wanting to try out some more.
I like neutral to cold image tones on a plain white base.
I've used a small mountain of Kentmere Fineprint, which though I like, I feel might be able to be beaten; I've also used Ilford Galerie, which I like very much and I don't mind the fact it is graded, and Forte Polywarmtone, which though I didn't like the colour, I really loved the quality feel and the gloss when air-dried.
I generally use Bromophen, or Agfa neutol NE, and my own plain hypo, and tone with selenium just for permanence, not really a colour change.
Has anyone used or could recommend anything else?
Foma Variant looks interesting; I've not tried ordinary Ilford Multigrade, or Kentmere Bromide (well not for many many years) or Adox Fineprint Vario Classic (though I did try one of those beta test boxes of their revamping of MCC, which was very nice).
From my point of view, I am spending a lot of time in there, so I want the results to be worth it. Like I said Forte had the finest look as a finished product out of everything I've tried (despite the colour) and that is the quality I am aiming for.
Final proviso: it has to be fibre
All comments gratefully received.
Cheers
Phil

apochromatic
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Re: B&W Fibre Printing Paper recommendations?

Post by apochromatic » Mon Jun 01, 2009 4:55 pm Etc/GMT-1+01:00

Aha! You may find my new paper tests of use. I have tested a range of currently available papers, though not every paper as my budget is limited.
http://www.alistairbaird.co.uk/papers/paper.html

I hope you find it interesting

Matt5791
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Post by Matt5791 » Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:38 pm Etc/GMT-1+01:00

For gloss, I like the air dried look of regular Ilford Multigrade - it has a nice smooth texture. I think this paper is hard to beat for general use.

richard littlewood
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Post by richard littlewood » Wed Jun 03, 2009 5:18 pm Etc/GMT-1+01:00

Alistair
Thats a good comparison of papers you have done there. For a good cool paper Multigrade is hard to beat, but the Foma paper is also good, and its cheaper, If its straight B+W those two are tops.

Andrea
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Post by Andrea » Mon Jun 08, 2009 5:00 pm Etc/GMT-1+01:00

Adox Nuance is really lovely paper.
FKD gaffer-tape special user

lostlandsuk
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Post by lostlandsuk » Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:05 am Etc/GMT-1+01:00

Hi Folks - thanks for all the interesting replies. I am still in a dillemma, however I am narrowing things down a bit.
Foma is out (as they only start at 9.5x12) - I decided that seeing as I've standardised on 8x10 I can't afford the extra dishes nor the fact my paper safe is only an 8x10 one . . .so, that narrows it down to Multigrade, Galerie and Adox.
Comparing the prints I love (on Forte) I have come to realise that it is the feel of the paper but especially the surface gloss that makes the difference. The Forte had a real quality feel and look to it, which on really close examination sort of knocks the Kentmere into a cocked-hat! Well that's just my opinion.
I might not be adverse to a semi-matt finish, but not like the Kentmere Finegrain one which is a truly horrible texture.
Cheers again
Phil

Keith Tapscott
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Re: B&W Fibre Printing Paper recommendations?

Post by Keith Tapscott » Tue Jun 16, 2009 8:31 am Etc/GMT-1+01:00

apochromatic wrote:Aha! You may find my new paper tests of use. I have tested a range of currently available papers, though not every paper as my budget is limited.
http://www.alistairbaird.co.uk/papers/paper.html

I hope you find it interesting
I took a look at your site and the comparisons starting with Multigrade IV FB as compared to the others, as this would be the standard to compare other papers with.
I think the OP would be better off buying trial-packs of various papers and deciding for himself which he finds aesthetically the most pleasing to his eyes.
The choice of any photographic materials whether films, papers and processing chemicals etc is very subjective to individual preference and no will ever agree what is the absolute best of anything. To each their own as they say.

Sal Santamaura
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Post by Sal Santamaura » Tue Jun 16, 2009 10:44 pm Etc/GMT-1+01:00

Many people all around the world have been waiting a long time for this paper:

http://www.adox.de/english/ADOX_Papers/MCC/MCC.html

It should be in stores within a couple of months. I printed on the test coating last year and was thrilled; suggest you give it a try when available.

lostlandsuk
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Post by lostlandsuk » Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:51 am Etc/GMT-1+01:00

Hi Sal and everyone - thanks for the replies. I too tried the MCC beta test and liked it, though it has been a long time coming.
I'm maybe thinking of the Adox Vario, as I'm just not sure about the extra optical brighteners etc in MGFB - we shall see though, I s'pose a box of 25 is only about £18.
As an interesting aside (well for me) you may have read elsewhere about my brighter than a million suns DeVere 504 - average exposure onto Kentmere of about 6 secs at f16 :roll: Well at the weekend I discovered 6 sheets of Forte polywarmtone in a cupboard, exposed a neg that had taken approx 8 secs onto Kentmere, printed for the same density of blacks and the Forte took 30 seconds! Edge burns (usually 2 secs onto Kentmere) were a nice and manageable 8 secs. So, I thought sideways and realised that paper speed is playing a big part in this! Which in turn leads me to the Adox again. I also must say as I've said before, for tactile and image quality (though I'm not keen on warm tones) the Forte is unbeatable. I still have three sheets left and I am reserving them for something that deserves them . . .
P

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